Relationships are not rainbows. They are not covered in hot fudge and maraschino cherries basking in beautiful sunlight. Relationships are hard work. They involve compromise, active listening, understanding and forgiveness. Despite the first few months being simple, you’d be a fool to believe you could continue to sail through naively believing that everything will always be that easy. There are going to be speed bumps and misunderstandings that lead to rough patches. There will be times when you want to grab your partner’s shoulders and shake them because of how stupid you think they’re being. There will be moments when you’re fighting to win, not fighting for the sake of the relationship’s equilibrium. There are even times when you think there’s no way the relationship can continue, and you want to quit. These are the precise moments when you need to step back to reexamine, reflect and resolve.
Reexamine: Think about all the issues. All the reasons you’ve fought. Now dig deeper. What were you hoping to achieve during these fights? When tempers were raging, did you say something hurtful you didn’t mean to say? What was your motive? What did you want? Were you not being heard or were you not doing your part to listen to your partner? When reexamining the issues, it’s important to cast your ego aside and look at things from a neutral perspective. It is only then that you can see where you faltered.
Reflect: This is usually the time to bring God into the process. Pray for guidance, pray for him to open your heart to his wisdom, and pray for a change. A change to learning how to fight and present your arguments fairly. A change to listening first and then responding. And finally, a change to connect more deeply with your partner through God’s love. By casting aside your ego and praying for God to open your heart, that is when these good changes will happen.
Resolve: When you each have time to go through the first two stages separately, the conversation you have during the resolve stage will be all the more fruitful, insightful and connective. One issue at a time, the rough patch is smoothed over with understanding, forgiveness and love. Selfishness is brought into the light and destroyed with selflessness. You two find a new appreciation for each other through God and plan a new way to communicate and handle the inevitable speed bumps and misunderstandings that lie ahead. But this time, the fight will be fair with a new goal in mind: maintaining the relationship’s equilibrium.
“Relationships include: fights, jealousy, arguments, faith, tears, disagreements, but a real relationship fights through all that with love.”